Vidarbha thermal power station

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Vidarbha thermal power station is a proposed 1320-megawatt (MW) power station in Maharashtra, India.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the location of the construction site, which is 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa) and 6 km northwest of Wardha.[1]

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Background

The plant, which is sponsored by Lanco, would comprise two subcritical units of 660 MW each.[2]

A July 2012 Lanco investor presentation reported: "TG deck of unit 1 completed."[3]

According to the Central Electricity Authority (September 2012), Unit 1 will be commissioned in April 2014 and Unit 2 will be commissioned in August 2014.[4]

However, as of September 2014 the units are still listed as under construction on the Lanco website.[5] The February 2015 India Central Electrical Authority report on coal plant construction does not list proposed dates for the units to be completed.[6]

Opposition

A court petition filed by four farmers against the Environmental Clearance challenged the validity of the hearing that took place on September 17, 2010. According to the court documents, about 5,000 villagers attended the hearing, which "was vitiated by ruckus since the Regional Officer, MPCB did not hear all the villagers ... the respondents used muscle power against the poor villagers; the Police Officers present at the hearing openly threatened the villagers and directed not to speak against the project ... the public hearing was abruptly closed after goons hired by the respondents created ruckus and villagers were brutally beaten." The company denied the allegations.[7]

In response to the petition, the court ordered a new hearing, which took place in June 2012. According to an account in The Times of India, the new hearing was "stage-managed, with only families of those employed by the plant saying yes" to the project. Manoj Manwatkar, son of one of the petitioners, complained, "This is an eye wash as 30% of the project has been completed. Work should be stopped till the Supreme Court decides the petition to cancel environment clearance filed by four affected farmers from Pulai. The public hearing should also be termed null and void."[8]

The Times of India article reported further:[8]

Dr Vibha Gupta, chairperson of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS), Wardha, said temperatures of Wardha have already crossed 47 degrees. Power units would mean disaster. "These units are taking away our land and water, and in return giving us ash. Lanco will take away a lot of water, even as Wardha residents get drinking water every alternate day. The unit will also pollute rivers supplying water to Wardha," Gupta said.
Many farmers criticized the company officials for making fake promises. Sandeep Pakhide said Lanco was to plant 1.75 lakh trees in four years but it has planted not more than a 1,000 trees. Also, most of the saplings have died. He wanted the plant to use the best technology to curb pollution.
Power sector expert Sudhir Paliwal said Lanco is making tall claims about benefiting several villages, but there are 84 villages in the 10-12km radius around the plant. "What about the welfare of these villages?" he asked.

Financing

China Development Bank gave US$200 million Buyers’ Credit for units 3 & 4 (1320 MW) of Lanco Amarkantak Thermal Power Project, the 1320 MW Babandh power station, and the 1320 MW Vidarbha thermal power station being developed by Lanco Group.[9]

Project Details

Sponsor: Lanco
Location: 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa), Wardha talk, Wardha district, Maharashtra
Coordinates: 20.8217523, 78.4900188 (Exact)
Status: Construction
Capacity: 1320 MW (Units 1-2: 660 MW)
Type:
Projected in service:
Coal Type: Domestic[2]
Coal Source: SECL[2]
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing: China Development Bank
Public hearing: "Minutes of Environmental Public Hearing in respect of proposed M/s. Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd. 1320MW (660x2) Coal Based Thermal Power Project at Village Mandwa, Pulai & Belgaon, Tq.Dist. Wardha," Ministry of Environment and Forests, September 17, 2010
Permits and applications:

Resources

References

  1. "Half Yearly Environmental Clearance Compliance Report, April 1 - September 30, 2013," Lanco Infratech
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lanco, "Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd", Lanco website, accessed July 2011.
  3. "Investor Presentation," Lanco Infratech, July 2012
  4. Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country, Central Electricity Authority, September 2012
  5. "Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd," Lanco website, September 2014.
  6. Broad Status Report, India Central Electrical Authority, February 2015
  7. "IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY, NAGPUR BENCH AT NAGPUR, PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. 78/2010," Ministry of Environment and Forests
  8. 8.0 8.1 Vijay Pinjarkar, "Lanco public hearing sans affected public,"The Times of India, June 21, 2012
  9. "Lanco Infratech to raise US$2 billion from Chinese banks and FIs for power projects," Lanco press release, Nov 26, 2012

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